Meaning. Toto means “woman” in Nigerian. The word Toto most often is used as an informal address amongst women and girls in Nigeria and various other African languages. It’s mainly used as an informal nickname in informal social situations.
So what’s a toto? Toto is a shortened version of the Yoruba word “tota”. In Yoruba language, a toto means a young woman. In contrast to some cases, the toto usually means a boy. In some communities in Northern Nigeria, where boys and girls often use different names, a toto is often used by girls as a more feminine name.
Where do girls get their toto names? Many communities in Northern Nigeria have rich cultural heritage that roots them to the Tollywood and Hollywood stars. Many young girls aspire to be like their favorite actress. If a girl has a favorite actress’ name, she can have her name given to her in lieu of a customary male title. Other popular Tollywood and Hollywood celebrities whose female names are often taken are Beyonce Knowles’, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Garner. In Lagos, a city renowned for pop culture and music, Beyonce Knowles is often referred to as B-roc or Br-rell.
Another way to get a toto is to be born with a toto. If both parents have a toto, the baby will be a toto. A toto can appear either way, however, it’s not advisable to give your newborn a traditional title because in most communities a toto is considered a woman’s slave. The most unusual title is “Tsundue.” It means “master’s wife”.
In Yoruba communities where there is a great tradition in naming children, the toto known as “Toto” is preferred. In other Yoruba communities, “Toto” is used to mean “daddy.” However, Toto in Yoruba is a respectful term for a son. “Toto” is also a good name for a daughter.
If you’re planning to name your child, consider your lifestyle and the cultural implications of your choice. You may wish to use your personal preference or the one that’s commonly used in your community. Always take into consideration your child’s age, his interests and his personality before making a final decision. Your new daughter will grow up and marry into a family whose surname will carry on through their offspring. Therefore, naming your daughter Toto will be a gesture of love and responsibility.
If you don’t want to name your girl Toto, consider the meaning of the word. If you’re from a Yoruba community, “Toto” is often a female name, while “Tota” is a boy’s name. “Toto” is from the noun “totu” which means household in the Yoruba language.
If you choose “Toto,” don’t be afraid to use it in a respectful way. As a baby girl, “Toto” will have to learn to respect older women. As she grows up and marries, she’ll find it in her heart to honor her mother. If you give Toto away as a gift to someone else, let her know that you were expecting a daughter-in-law and plan ahead by calling her and asking her out to lunch or to the movies.